Friday, 21 October 2016

An EGGcellent EGGxperiment!!!!

Science is definitely one of my class's favourite subjects! The passion and enthusiasm is out of this world, even on a Thursday afternoon, two days before half term! We have been learning about the topic 'Animals including Humans' and part of this is to look at our teeth, learn the different types of teeth we have, as well as how to look after our teeth properly. From this, we have devised an experiment to show tooth decay linked with the effects of different types of drink, that I imagine we all drink regularly, and will assume are healthy and good for us! This is where the eggs come in.......

Mrs Chapman, so kindly boiled 25 eggs for us last night, ready for us to use in Science today. The children were using the eggs (specifically the shell), to see the effects certain drinks have on our teeth.

 The children each had 5 boiled eggs, and were to put these in containers, and fill them with a variety of liquids, which included cola, orange juice and water. Some children also decided to mix the three liquids together to see what effect that would have on our teeth (egg shell) too!!

The children made predictions as to which liquid was going to cause the most decay, there were a variety of different answers, as well as several children using the knowledge they already had learnt to base their prediction on.

The eggs were put in a variety of different places around the classroom and our resource room (so that they do not get mixed up, as children and adults alike can be very forgetful!)

I imagine that tomorrow we will be continuously checking the eggs to see the decay the drinks are causing, and then we will leave them over half term (which hopefully will not cause a smell in our classroom). Once we know the results, we will post an update to everyone to show what we have found out!

Happy blogging :) from all the scientists in Miss Shears' class

Thursday, 20 October 2016

I have given a new meaning to practical Maths!!

I am a great believer in working extremely practical in Maths, being able to physically see the problem in front of us, in order to help us solve it! However, for yesterday's Maths lesson, I put the place value counters away, the dienes, and the multi-link cubes! Confused? or perhaps intrigued?

I had decided to raid the P.E. equipment in the hall, and came back to my class with hoops and cones, all which were placed on the floor waiting for my children to arrive to their Maths lesson. As soon as they walked in, the bright yellow hoops and then red and blue scattered across my classroom floor immediately caught their attention....

I began to throw some cones in to the hoops, at this point the children were asked to explain what I was doing....(in a mathematical approach)...within 2 minutes, the children came up with an addition calculation using word problems (all because I threw some cones all over the floor!) Now that I had their interest, the children we allowed to create their own addition and subtraction word problems using cones and hoops...and allowing other groups of children to solve them. It was all about verbalising this part of Maths, so that the children could decide on whether or not to use addition or subtraction.

 What a successful Maths the end, all of the children were writing their own two step addition and subtraction problems, which we passing around the classroom for everyone to solve! A massive well done to everyone, even if my entire classroom was covered in hoops and cones at one point!

We love show and tell in our class!

Most days, several children will always ask if they can show something to everyone at the end of the day, and usually we have time. In recent days, this has become a lot more popular, therefore I am going to involve the show and tell on our blog (even blogged by the children)

Today's show and tell was brought to you by Kane!

Kane decided to come up to me when he walked into class this morning and show me two of his mini-beasts that he collects! I'm sure he sees the panic on my face as my brain tries to establish whether they are real or not!!! Luckily they aren't, but the horror continues when Kane asks if I can look after them throughout the day (as he places them in clear sight on my desk!) Luckily as a brave teacher, I overcome a slight fear, as I know they are not real!

Kane spoke to the class at the end of the day, telling us all about these mini-beasts and the other ones he has at home (which he is going to bring in too!) Some of which include giant ants, scorpions and what I can only assume was a cockroach! However, putting all of my fears aside, it is amazing listening to Kane who has such a passion and enjoyment from collecting these, as well as all of the children being so interested and asking such insightful questions, which shows off how much knowledge Kane has about all of these creatures!

Well done Kane, I look forward to listening to you again talking about which new ones you have collected, even if you say it will most probably be a scorpion!!

P.S. We do have tables and chairs in our class, we just happened to move them all to the side to make space during our learning this afternoon!

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

What a beautiful morning......

This morning, whilst tidying up the chaos in my classroom which I had caused yesterday: moving tables (again), writing pieces of work for display, backing our cave paintings and hand prints. As well as realising my desk no longer existed because I had been placing things on it all day yesterday which resulted in not actually being able to see it! However, in the mix of all of this complete chaos, I decided to open the window (moving tables is quite a good morning workout), and I noticed the sky! Now there is nothing better to look that a bright pink sky at 7.30am!

 I know it's not the best photo, however if I was to get any closer I either would have fallen out of the window (not the best thing to do) or I would have dropped my class iPad and being at the top of the school, I'm positive the iPad would not make it!!

Anyway, I hope you all have a brilliant day :)

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Olympic athletes in the making......

Now who doesn't love a bit of P.E. on a freezing cold and rather windy Wednesday afternoon??? Luckily we were in the hall for our weekly P.E. lesson, otherwise no doubt we would have been blown away by the strong easterly winds coming in off of the sea!!!

This term, we have started a new P.E. programme called 'Real P.E.'  Does that mean what we have been teaching all these years has been fake? Definitely not, but with our new P.E. programme, at the time being we are primarily focussing on the fundamentals of different activities. Once we have mastered all of these, we can begin to transfer them to a variety of team and individual sports, which is something we are all used to doing in P.E.

My class have been fantastically supportive and fully engaged in the new layout of our P.E. lessons, taking ownership of their own skills by making the decision to practise more, as well as committing to working together as a whole class.

Today in P.E. our lesson was based on the 'Static Balance - small base' Many of the children asked: Why do I need to do this? How is this going to help me play football and basketball? Brilliant questions, all of which were answered by the end of the lesson because the children were able to see how these skills were transferable to a variety of different sports.

As a whole class, we work together in stages to complete each of the tasks. The children are continuously self assessing themselves throughout the tasks and make their own decisions as and when they feel they are ready to move on.

All of the children today were able to move up three stages completing the static balance - small base, whilst on the floor, then moving onto a bench and then using a variety of different balls to catch whilst still performing that same skill!

We may not have been playing a whole class game of football, rugby, netball or basketball, but the children were able to finely tune the basic fundamental skills that will help them in each of these sports and so much more! Even the children that have very little confidence in P.E. are able to successfully participate and improve a valuable skill.

We will be continuing this fundamental skill next week, so keep an eye out for my next blog :)

Here is a photo showing all of the children in our class performing the Static Balance - small base!

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

This is not paint, it's 'mud' !!!

Luckily the children in my class are all absolutely fantastic at throwing them selves completely into life in the Stone Age (from practice in our previous lessons), as well as being encouraged along by me who possibly takes it too seriously (wait until I dress up as someone from the Stone Age)!!

Today we were continuing with some Stone Age art using our hands! Now, my plan was to get mud from somewhere (possibly my garden), unfortunately though time slipped away from me too fast, and I was unable to raid my garden for the mud! Never mind though, because we made a brown paint using what we had in our art cupboard and the children got fully stuck in to creating hand prints to decorate our cave!!!

Some of the children were slightly apprehensive because they didn't want to get dirty, but after showing them the orderly line of : paint, print and wash, they were all absolutely fine with sticking their hands into a palette of brown paint!!

We will use these prints to not only decorate our cave (classroom) with but we will be using them for our topic display! Once this is finished I will post another photo so we can all see what the children have achieved this term!

Happy blogging :)

The world we live in....

On Monday afternoon, I walked into my classroom during the ICT lesson, and saw every single member of my class completely focused on their iPad! I was rather intrigued to find out exactly what they had been doing, so I asked several children to explain to me. Now I have grown up in a world full of technology, be this an iPad, laptop, computer, iPhone, iPod, as well as many different apps that I have downloaded throughout the years and will still use today!

What really surprised me was the fact the children were using Keynote to create a piece of work on our Stone Age topic! Back in my day (writing this shows how old I am), we would use a piece of paper and a pencil, possibly colouring pencils too! Yet, my children had been researching different aspects of life in the Stone Age and comparing it to life today, inputting sentences and keywords, selecting photos, changing the size of these photos, and carefully selecting the different tools to change the font size etc (I could go on forever!!!)

These photos show the concentration levels of my children and how engaged each of them were during their ICT lesson.....

I am so excited to see their completed work, and I am already looking forward to next Monday (not that I want to wish my time away), but the passion the children were showing, the respect they have for each other and their ideas as well as the quality pieces of work they are all creating!

I will post some photos once they have completed! Happy blogging :)

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Life can't get any better than this.........

Just a short post this morning to show everyone the amazing view from my classroom!

As most people know, I spend most of my free time in the sea, either surfing, swimming, body-boarding or the view I have from my classroom suits me perfectly! As well as the children enjoying looking out of the window too!

Have a brilliant day everyone :) Happy blogging :)

Life can't get any better than this.........

Just a short post this morning to show everyone the amazing view from my classroom!

As most people know, I spend most of my free time in the sea, either surfing, swimming, body-boarding or the view I have from my classroom suits me perfectly! As well as the children enjoying looking out of the window too!

Have a brilliant day everyone :) Happy blogging :)

Monday, 10 October 2016

Sink or Swim?

Is there a better place than this to learn how to swim?

We are lucky enough to live in such a supportive community town. Everyone at The Admiral Swimming pool are always happy to see us on a Friday afternoon for our weekly swimming session. All of the children are used to the routine of eating their lunch early, having a quick run around in the playground until they all see me walking out of the school to remind them we have swimming this afternoon and the bus is waiting for us!

We have completed 3 of our swimming lessons and in this short space of time I have seen every child improve massively. Whether this is their technique of entering the pool safely, using their legs correctly when doing the breast stroke (which as we all know is not as easy as it looks) or not kicking their legs so frantically that I get absolutely soaked! Although, this week, I did come away a little bit on the damp side, but then again my group had a focus on kicking their legs in front crawl,  so what did I expect!

Fantastic session this week though, every one is making so much improvement, Mrs Lund and I are so very proud of you all! From week 1 when some of the children did not want to even enter the water, whereas now the children are reluctant to get out!!

Maths Magicians

In Maths this week, we have been learning different strategies to mentally add and subtract numbers. At the beginning of the week, the children were lacking in confidence to do some rather tricky calculations in their head, yet by Wednesday, all of the children were adding and subtracting 1-digit, 2-digit and 3-digit numbers.....WOW!!!!

As usual, we have ended each of our Maths lessons with a 5 minute times table competition (where the children play against me) well as having Mrs Thompson and Mrs Wilson joining in on one occasion (because the roaring cheer of the children winning grabbed their attention as they walked down the stairs!) Hopefully they will be back soon to play again! I will upload the photos of our competition in my next post.

As always, thanks for reading, happy blogging!

Football is in the air.....

Well it is that time of year again, the start of a new football season! This is the chance for all of those children who play football in the playground during lunchtimes and break times, in the park at the weekend, or even for an outside of school club; to come together to represent our school.

I couldn't be more excited to be coaching the Year 3/4 Boys Football club, not only because I love playing football myself, but it also brings back those wonderful memories of when I was playing football for Furzeham and Mr Ward was my football coach (obviously only a couple of years ago!)

The Year 3/4 boys had their first football match of the year, and as a team on, Tuesday 4th October. Although the score didn't go our way, I could see the enjoyment playing this game gave each and every one of those children. Considering this was the first time they had played together as a team, they were all fantastic. The teamwork they displayed was indescribable, the encouragement throughout the whole game was out of this world and the sportsmanship was like nothing I had ever seen before! As their coach, I admired the way in which they all dealt with coming away at the end of the game with a loss, a very valuable lesson in life, but something for us to work towards and to come back fighting even stronger!

Well done boys! We are all so very proud of you :)

A huge thank you to all of the parents and friends who came out to support our boys!

See you all next Monday, for our second game of the season.

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Potheridge word...AMAZING!!!!!

There are no other words I can use to describe my experience at Potheridge House, other than...AMAZING!!!

Our three key aims of the residential were -

1) To conquer our fears
2) To work together as a team
3) To be selfless

1) To conquer our fears...

Well, one of my main fears are spiders, and there is no better place to overcome this fear than at Potheridge! For example, no less than 10 minutes had passed whilst being in my dorm for the first time, did I see a spider run across the floor! Jumping on my bed whilst balancing my suitcase in one hand (I obviously did not want the spider to get in there) and holding my camera in the other hand (apparently I wanted to record this monster crawling across my floor)!!! However I knew I had to something to get rid of this spider as quickly and as calmly as possible, which is something I am proud to say I did! This happened several times throughout the trip, other than when there was a spider on the door frame in the staff area which resulted in me running out screaming!!!! So not only did I conquer one of my fears, but several children did an extremely selfless act of getting rid of a spider (just naturally picking it up and putting it outside - not sure how they did this) so that it was not near me!! For that children, I will be forever thankful :) SPIDERS 0 - CHILDREN 1

One of the fears that kept coming up throughout our stay at Potheridge was that of heights! It's not necessarily a natural thing to walk down the side of a cliff or to abseil down a tree, but we all did it! On our day of coasteering, after walking for a few minutes we reach the part of the cliff which we were to walk down whilst being supported by a rope and three instructors. Now this can be very daunting for some children (and adults), however, I have found the best way to overcome this part of coasteering is to come down with me...not because I will keep you focussed, and will continuously talk to you whilst we go down...but because I will slip, not once, not twice, but three times which actually resulted in most of my group laughing hysterically at me which took their mind of what they were doing. Before we knew it, we were on the beach! CLIFF 0 - CHILDREN 1

2) To work together as a team...

Now, teamwork is an extremely important aspect of life whether as a child or even as an adult. At Potheridge, every single day we all worked together as part of a team. Whether this was on day one when the children were having to make their beds, during the crate stack to see which team can stack the most crates whilst being in mid air, or even something as simple as clearing the tables after breakfast and dinner. Every child worked as part of a team throughout the residential. During one evening we played a game called 'Mad Postman' - every team had to find their leader (the teachers) who were hiding somewhere outside in the dark in the grounds of Potheridge. Finding us in the dark proved easy for some children (well mainly my group, but that was because I had a fluorescent yellow hat on).  However, the children were all working together to find us so that we could give them their 'post'. Although I am demanding a recount because I'm convinced my team should have won, maybe next year :)

3) To be selfless...

Who could ever imagine, that during a 4 day residential trip, would 60 children do a variety of selfless acts (EACH) during their stay at Potheridge? I've already mentioned the spider incident, so there's no need for me to go through that trauma again! But there were children who were constantly looking out for each other, showing everyone where to go, helping each other putting wetsuits and buoyancy aids on, getting a refill of water during dinner, sharing torches, pulling children (and adults) back into the canoe after jumping out...the list is endless, I could go on forever giving examples of how all of the children were acting selflessly throughout the week!

Like I've already mentioned, visiting Potheridge was an AMAZING experience! We are all so immensely proud of each and every one of the children, conquering their fear of the dark, their fear of heights, as well as working together through a variety of different team tasks, and ultimately doing selfless acts each and every single day!!!
We are already looking forward to going to Potheridge next year :)